The Vata element being the easiest to be aggravated and the most difficult to balance, knowing it and taking care of it well is crucial. The cold, rough and dry winds of early fall and winter, so welcome for those with a Pitta constitution and acceptable for Kapha individuals, creates dramatic discomforts for those with a Vata dosha. Why? Because the dry, moving and light qualities that are predominant in Vata are accentuated by weather and activities of the same nature. Those with a combined dosha, Pitta-Vata and Kapha-Vata, must also take care of that side of their dosha during that that season. Even those with a Pitta and Kapha constitution must do their best to prevent their tissues from drying during the Vata cycles of life, which usually shows up in their early fifties. The beauty is that to prevent Vata aggravation, the recipes are the same!!!
Symptoms of Vata aggravation
The symptoms of an aggravated Vata disbalance below are typical for those with a Vata aggravation. They are predominent when the weather is dry, cold and windy, therefore at the beginning of spring and winter.
1. Dryness of skin, hair, nails, nasal passages, and even of the tongue, vagina and lymphatic system. Examples: the lips, feet, nipples and skin around the nails look greyish, can even crack and bleed.
2. Forgetfulness. Examples: lack of presence when doing things, forgetting where you put your keys, glasses, cell phone, important appointments, shut the windows before cranking up the heating system, burning pots regularly, buying things you already have in the fridge, and so on.
3. Agitation and twitching. Exemples : tapping fingers and feet, spasms, moving in bed all night, including rolling over siblings or partner
4. Insomnia and waking up frequently during the night, especially when accompanied with worries and looping thoughts
5. Memory loss and difficulty to concentrate
6. Constipation and bloating
7. Excess volubility. Example: talking so fast that elocution is impaired and difficult to be understood by others
8. L’anxiety. Examples: when occasional, they’re normal; it is their frequency and intensité that makes the difference, especially when it turns into obsessions and panic attacks
9. Irregular moon cycle. Example: before menstruating, most of the above show up more. during menstruation, pain in the abdomen and lower back and cramps are experienced, the flow is scanty and the blood is dark and sometimes coagulates. The duration of the cycle is also irregular.
10 tips to balance Vata
1. The most direct and reliable way of maintaining and bring Vata back is through diet. Especially during fall and winter, Vata folks need to eat at the same time every day. Food and drinks needs to be served warm and be warming, rich in liquids and oils, easy to digest and to eliminate, and not tax the nervous system. Prefer sweet, salty and sour tastes. And it’s logical, avoid drinks and foold that are cold, drying and light. Avoid foods that have astringent, bitter and pungent tastes. Worst foods for Vata are pungent crackers, coffee and alcohol.
2. While Vata has a lot of trouble maintaining a routine, it is essential to their balance and wellbeing.
2. Getting up and going to bed every day at the same time and sleeping for 8 hours per night is a must.
3. S’habiller chaudement et éviter les refroidissements de la tête, du corps, des mains et des pieds.
4. Regular massage. Science now acknowledges that the skin is the largest endocrine organ, with the highest and richest source of hormones of all kinds. Massaging the skin releases beneficial neurotransmitters. Since the skin is also the seat of emotions, they can easily be influenced my massage. From the perspective of ayurveda, daily self-massage of the whole body is one of the best ways to balance body, mind and spirit. The best oils for Vata is sesame, and glycerin when things get really rough.
5. The best essential oils to accompany your massage oil are vetiver, jasmine, frankincense, tulsi (sacred basil) and blood orange.
6. Since the nature of Vata is movement, Vata folks generally love exercise… to they point that they often exceed their limits because their stamina is irregular. Chose a routine, rhythmic and relaxing exercise plan that builds muscle strength. Choose exercises that you like to make sure you remain steady and faithful to them. Rest between exercises and activities is also needed.
7. Daily meditation is a form of rest. When Vata is agitated, sitting meditation may be difficult. The option is to go for a slow, quiet walk where you focus on the ground under your feet, listen to your body and senses or at the elements interacting around you. Otherwise, all other forms of meditation that keep you grounded and centered are beneficial.
8. Listen to calm and relaxing music.
9. Avoid stimulating emotions and activities before bed, eg. discussions, watching TV, the Internet, paying video games
10. Spend a moment at the end of the day and review reasons you have for feeling grateful.
For an Ayurvedic Facial in Ottawa, contact Isabela by email to book an appointment.